Friday, December 26, 2008

IN hopes of being a more consistent blogger, I have set up a semi-schedule (the fact that I am a compulsive organizer also contributed to this creation, but more on that later). I took a note from a fellow blogger who does the same, and so this is my plan:
Mondays: Weekly Recap
Tuesdays: As I see it/the confessional
Wednesdays: God's Word on Wednesdays (WOW)
Thursdays: Picture Time!
Friday: 10 things (kinda like a top 10 list....well not really, just a list of 10 things....)
After having to consult my calendar to find out what day of the week it actually is (funny how Christmas does that to you) I am here with my first installment of 10 here goes!
Not that this happens every Christmas, but it happened this one! My much loved brother in law (Uncle Oka) moved to Australia about a year and a half ago. I often wonder what life would be like if he were still living here. He is one of those guys who just has such a zest for life, always trying new things, the life of the party, you know? Anyhow, he left just after Joker's 1st birthday, and I thought we would not see him again until either he got married (which is a very very long shot) or a funeral.
So after a great deal of Christmas hoopla here at the house, and then a much needed post-hoopla nap, we head over to the in-laws for Christmas day dinner. There we are, standing in the living room, when a familiar voice says "took you guys long enough to get here" - and we turn around and there is OKA!!! I almost, almost said a very bad word, but managed a 'what the heck' and gave him a giant hug. Now THAT, ladies and gentlemen is a good good gift.
My hubby, loving guy that he is, knows of my love of all word related puzzles. The sweet guy bought me 8 new puzzle books - that should keep me busy for about a to decide which one to crack open first.
As you may well know, I do not eat sugar. This puts a serious cramp in Valentines Day, Easter, and any other holiday in which chocolate is a major gift. (Speaking of which, when did all holidays turn into eating related events??? Can't we celebrate one special day without a ginormous meal??? No wonder we as a nation are getting bigger!!)
In past years, my mom would buy us all a chocolate initial from this awesome chocolatier in town....but now that I no longer eat the delicious brown stuff, she has abandoned the ritual.
I have found a few sources of sugarless chocolate, but there is a major drawback - it is expensive (that and it gives you major diarrhea if you eat too much of it)!! And to a total cheapskate like me, the expense factor is not a good thing. I will not turn down chocolate given to me as a gift however...mmmm chocolate...
Hubby and the Joker went out and bought all the sugarless chocolate they could find! I got half a grocery bag of it! However, as much as I want to dive in and eat it all in one sitting, I would rather not spend the next two weeks on the 'throne'. EWWW.
Both new and old, Christmas memories are my favorites. I have a gramma who went all out at this time of year - a tree loaded with ornaments, decorations on every surface that would hold them, bowls and baskets full of treats and goodies, and the presents - oh the presents.... She made me love Christmas for the warm and fuzzy feelings it brings.
Having become a Christian in my adult years, Christmas definitely brings with it a new reason to love the season - and each year, telling the Christmas story to my children, watching their comprehension level rise little by little, all brings new additions to already wonderful memories.
Then there are the inevitable engagements, impending birth announcements and other miscellaneous good news items that come about. I remember the year we gave our parents each a peanut, to announce the fact that we were expecting The Joker. Now every year it takes all the self control I have to NOT hand out a peanut just to watch all the colour run out of their faces ;)
I know that as the years pass and our families age, there will be years where the memories are painful, as in the first Christmas without one of our parents, or the first Christmas with one of our kids moved out. But for now, I relish all the good ones we have made and continue to make.
How can you not share in the excitement of a 4 year old on Christmas eve? Okay, it can get annoying to hear the 80th request to open presents, but it is exciting all the same. And to watch their eyes light up upon opening the gift you gave them - it is so fun to see them that enthused. If I could bottle that energy and save it for some of my most tired days, I would.
Come on people - it's Christmas for crying out loud - it's not like it is a surprise. I mean it comes at the exact same time every year - it is not my fault that you left your shopping until the very last moment and now you are angry that I have a cart full of groceries in line in front of you.....cheer up!!
How many different ways can you write Merry Christmas in a card? What if you are sending the cards to all of your family, and they may read each others cards? You are kind of obligated to make them all different. Some people are those that I rarely talk to, have no idea what is going on in their lives, and I really can't pull anything out of my brain other than a lame have a good year. My perfectionism drives me to write the perfect note in each and every card, and yet my increasing wrist and hand pain deters me from writing anything near legible...
No no, not from other people as in 'give me this gift or you are out of the will'. More like - give me a list of what you want so I can go and buy it. I have a really really hard time asking for anything I need, much less stuff I want. It was like pulling teeth trying to put a list together for my mom, and then she turned around and gave me money I went and bought all my own stuff. I would much rather just pass on the gifts and call it a day - really, in this day and age, what do I really NEED?? NOTHING. Actually, there is one thing I want/need more than anything from my family - their PRESENCE, not their PRESENTS...we will see how that goes, everyone is so very busy these days (wow this has suddenly taken a very depressing turn...okay onto another topic)
I see people this time of year and say 'oh, yeah, we need to get together', and yet another year passes and nothing. I carry that guilt like a heavy weight on my shoulders. And then I sit back and think - they didn't get together with ME either, do they carry this guilt? If only there were a way to just dump all this mutual guilt and actually enjoy the visit together when we DO get a chance...
Drunk people are spilly talkers. I clean a bar in the mornings, and so I am quite aware of how much alcohol lands on the floor. They are bad aimers in the bathroom too. EWWW. Tinsel is impossible to sweep or mop, and cats and tinsel do not mix. Have you ever heard a cat hacking up a 2 inch piece of tinsel at 3:00 am? Not a pleasant sound. Finally road salt - very very useful on the road, but a bugger to clean with a mop. When it gets wet, it melts - but when it dries, it recrystallizes and shows big shimmery streaks all over the floor. ALL OVER the floor.
So there you go - my Friday 10 THINGS....
Hope you all enjoyed the Christmas Holiday (see? lame brain is totally out of unique Christmas wishes...sorry)
I may be a mother but I am Not Your Average Mom

Monday, December 22, 2008

16 things....December 22 08 edition

Rules: Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 16 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 16 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you.

(note...these things are NOT in order of importance or hilarity....)

1. I love crafts. Making crafts, looking at other people's crafts. Recieving crafts. Giving crafts. I do have a sneaking suspicion though that others are not quite as enthused with the crafts I give to them. This however, does not impede my craftiness. It only affirms my theory that they fail to recognize my genius. (did I mention that I am also delusional about my own crafting talent?....)
2. Things I also love: a) the colour green (except forest green, kelly green and neon green. Don't ask, I don't know why). b) Bacon, and all bacon related food products. (Oddly enough, I do not like pigs.) c) Coffee. Just a good ole' cup of coffee - no venti-low-fat-macciato-cinnamon-sprinkled-frou-frou-coffee....just coffee. d) dragonflies. If I could find a green, bacon scented, coffee-flavoured dragonfly, I believe I would be delerious.
3. I am a Christian woman. I believe that God sent his only son to live the perfect life and to ultimatly give his life as a ransom for mine. I also believe that He is God, and I am not - I am in process, not perfect. He is not done with me yet - I'm not where I need to be, but thank God I'm not where I used to be.
4. I have 3 children - 4 if you count my husband. I love them all in a special way, and though I resolutely stated that I would NEVER turn into my mother, I have to admit that I hear her words coming out of my mouth a lot. As in, too often. I bet she is snickering at this fact right now. 5. I do not eat sugar. Really, I don't eat carb-based food products. This makes carb-loading before a big 'run' a little tricky. Somehow it all works out. I do miss frenchfries though.
6. I am afraid of clowns. The first movie I ever saw in a theatre was Polterguist (sp??). Yeah, way to emotional warp a child. I can clean a nasty toilet, pick up dead animals brought to us by neighbourhood animals and clean up after a flu-ish child....but I still cannot go to a circus.
7. I am very black and white, no matter how much I try not to be. You either love me or hate me, I am ultra-productive or completely lazy, I am either running or sleeping. There really is no inbetween. This makes patience really really elusive to me. I am working on it.
8. I do crosswords, puzzles, and brain teasers for fun. And yes, I am one of those people who corrects grammatical errors on graffiti. I love number games and can remember phone numbers from my childhood. Oddly, I cannot remember the name of the person I met yesterday. But I do remember that she had 4 buttons on her shirt. And that one of them was sewn with different coloured thread. She will forever be known as odd-button-out-lady.
9. I have 11 family members that live within 5 K of my house. I still only see them a half-dozen times a year.
10. I write down a lot of the things I hear for future reference. I have (at last count) 31 full journals in my closet. They are filled with random useless information.
11. Speaking of random useless information, my hubby is the Cliff Claven of music trivia. It is annoying and amusing the amount of stuff he has crammed into his brain.
12. I am my own worst critic.
13. This year will be my 5th anniversary with my husband. I think we have surprised a lot of people. I can totally see myself growing old next to him. I say next to him because no matter how old he gets, he will always act like a teenager. The difference is that if I did that, I would be lame. When he does it, it kind of suits him. This youthful enthusiasm is a great part of why I love him so much.
14. I wish I had more time to do personal things like my nails, or my hair or exercise. My calendar fills up very quickly and 'me time' is the first thing to be cut out. I think this is all part of being a mom. So if you look at my raggedy nails and split ends, you know that I have been very very busy.
15. I believe God put me here to encourage others. I love sending notes to lift others up. Sometimes I wish I had a note...but then I get a big slobbery kiss from my 2 year old and all is well again.
16.When I was 20 and thought I knew all there was to know about everything on the planet, I never thought I would live past 30. At the rate I was going, I was probably right. I am 33 now, so every day is like a gift I never expected. Imagine how surprised I will be at my 80th birthday party!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I have been very very distracted lately. Not only have hormones come out to play, but add to that Christmas, as well as the recent discovery of 'Blogs of Note' and you have a recipe for distraction. It's funny, I read and read and read (okay, stalk) all these other bloggers, and then stop and think - hey, I have a blog, maybe I should stop clicking and start typing!!!
So here I am. While my life has been crazy busy, I am facing a bit of a block as to what to say. So please excuse any insane rambling that may proceed from my fingers....

Both sets of parents (mine and hubby's) have recently been away. And finally, both sets have returned. The exodus of my in laws is nothing new, as nearly every month they are trekking off to some exotic destination. But for my parents, this is a once or twice a year thing.
Normally my parents vacations have very limited effect on me, as we don't see much of each other when they are firmly planted at home. This time, however, was different. In the time they were gone, we had two big snowfalls. And my parents have a BIG driveway. It has become in a way an unwritten rule that my hubby and I are responsible for the snow removal from this massive slab of asphalt. Okay, that is not entirely true. My hubby is responsible for it since I have not a clue as to how to operate a snow blower (although you would think that any good Canadian girl should know her way around one of these machines of wonder).
I drove past my parents place between storms and saw that the original snow had not been touched - save the footprints from the mailman and paperboy(or to be completely correct, the paperperson....or is it media delivery get my point). I had not heard from the 'rents so I wasn't sure whether the snow removal torch had been passed to my little (younger) brother.
So we get an email asking if we would mind going over to clear the driveway before they come home. And then we got the snow. And when I mean snow, I don't mean a light dusting-isn't-that-pretty-let's-go-for-a-walk-and-catch-it-on-our-tongue. It was a massive dumping followed by blowing and drifting. All of these factors combined to create the biggest snowpile we have ever been witness to. And where was this pile? Yup. In the aforementioned driveway.
Hubby huffed and puffed and blew that snow down. It took him a couple of hours! And he came home smelling like gas. Even worse, it was 2 stroke gas. Even worse than that is the fact that I know the difference between the odor of 2 stroke and regular gas.
I love my hubby. And I love my parents. But I must admit, I have no love left for snow. Or 2 stroke.


As you may or may not know, I have 3 kids. a 2.5 year old boy (the Joker), a 4 year old girl (the Mouth) and a 12 year old boy (the Fidget). Fidget lives with his dad and stepmom in another town about 1/2 hour away. This all came about a couple of years ago, when after living with me for 10 years, he decided he would like to try it on the other side of the fence. And it turns out, the grass may not be greener, but it is just as good to roll in. So there he stayed.

Having a child that does not live with you can be heartbreaking for a mom. When he is sick, when he is having trouble in school, and when holidays come around are just a few of those times. So in comes Christmas. Each year, Fidgets' dad and I switch up on who gets F. on Christmas Day. This year is his year.

So we will celebrate our Christmas on Christmas Eve morning....and my other two will open MORE GIFTS on Christmas Day. I guess from a kids point of view this is pretty cool since they get not one but 2 Christmas mornings. For a mom, however, something will just be missing.

Until then I have resigned myself to having a fabulous time with F., enjoying every minute of the festivities. Too bad not everyone else is in on my plan!! (Doesn't it always work out that way!!?)


The Joker is fascinated with a show we often watch, called Little Einsteins. I have heard the pat-clap-pat-clap mantra more times than any mother should . Naturally, when it came time to decide what to get for his Christmas present, we KNEW it had to be the 'Rocket' - the hero of the show. I was beside myself with glee to discover that there was a "Pat Pat Rocket" that came with all the characters inside, as well as played music from the show. It was like knowing that you are - for that one special moment - going to be called the 'best mother on earth'...showered with kisses and hugs and loving every minute of it.
Off I go, to scour all the stores for the PPR. Each and every store was sold out. We got a flyer for a well known discount store which advertised the PPR on sale! I ran to said store, only to find it was sold out. I did, however, leave with a raincheck. Fat lot of good that is going to do me if they don;t get any in stock until after Christmas. But I grip it tightly, checking and rechecking from time to time that it is still in my purse.

On an impromptu shopping trip, my hubby discovers! ROCKET! ON! THE! TOP! SHELF!!!!!

The only glitch in this excellent find was that Joker was with us. We shoved the box in the cart (not so easy considering the box is about as big as the cart itself) and cover it with hubby's jacket. I fish for the raincheck, find it, and off we race to the checkout. Hubby strategically grabs the van, and I pay for the coveted toy without Joker seeing it. SUCCESS.....

At home, we store it lovingly in the laundry room, patting ourselves on the back (no wonder it is called Pat Pat) for our ingenious purchase of the most perfect gift.

Last night, Fidget and I are doing some wrapping and I haul up the bags from the basement. I open the red bag of wonder....only to discover......we have purchased the FRENCH VERSION!!!!

ACK!!! My heart sank into a space somewhere between my stomach and my toes. I felt nauseous. Fidget says - well, he should learn a second language anyways.....- I do not find this as humorous as he did.

Now the search begins again......grrr......
I may be a mother, but I am Not Your Average Mom

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Before I go any further in this journal, I feel I would be remiss (what exactly does that word mean anyways?) if I didn't clarify some things.
First and foremost, I am a Christian. Yes, one of those. These days it is not entirely popular to say you are 'born again' or 'a follower of Christ'. It becomes a stigma, but one which I will gladly carry with me until the end of my days.
Having said that, I feel I must clarify further. I do believe the Bible is the word of God, that is, God breathed. And because I believe that God is perfect and that He is truth, I believe that every word of the Bible is true. Do I always live it out? No. Do I always claim it and follow it and speak it? No. I also believe that I am not perfect, that I am in process, so mistakes are expected, and forgiven, once I come to a position of true repentance.
I know that sometimes the things I write are not exactly 'Christian'. Like my description of the Christmas party, or my constant worry. But I am human, with human frailties and make errors, just like any other human...
There, I said I can continue.

I think sometimes people think that if you are a Christian, you should never have to face trials - that you are 'touched by God' and therefore exempt from all that life brings. Then, when a crisis occurs, the fact that it occurs to believers and non-believers alike is questioned - is there really a God? And if He is so loving, why would He let this happen to you?
These questions present perhaps the greatest barrier to belief in this day and age. We live in uncertain times - economic faltering, environmental disasters and crime rates that are higher than ever before.
I think of 3 families in particular:
1. A really good friend of mine had lived a really rather comfortable life - having admitted that she had never experienced real trial. She has 3 beautiful children, a loving husband, great parents, a nice house, all the good things that a normal life can bring. Then suddenly, and without warning, crisis came. Her husband, the sole financial support in the family, lost his job. This, after a year of looking for a better job (while still employed) - to no avail. Suddenly, he is home 24/7 and no solid prospects in the future.
Times like this induce panic in most people. And they can also bring a great crisis of faith - why would God let this happen? I work hard, I live a good life, I am faithful - so why, God, why? But really, there was very little of this. In fact, I was kind of shocked at the serenity my friend showed. Now I should not be shocked in the slightest, but I was. As Christians, we are told to "be anxious for nothing" and to put all of our trust in Jesus, but sometimes that is easier said than done.
Having been in this exact situation (both hubby and I unemployed, or very very short on cash) in very recent past, I reflect on how I handled the stress that comes with an uncertain financial future. I must admit that although I put on a brave face and tried to tell myself that it didn't matter, it really did matter and I really did worry. One day I will share the struggles we went through, but those are best left for another time.
So back to my friend. Is she worried? I really don't think so. She has shown such sweet serenity and patience, and has been a true example of faith under fire. I thank God for her.
2. Another good friend of mine has had an incredibly difficult year. First, she was planning a wedding with her wonderful best-friend-in-the-whole-world fiance, and found out she was pregnant. Now this is pretty amazing because as far as she had been told, she was not supposed to be able to get pregnant. So as much as this kind of threw a curve ball into the wedding prep, they were thrilled at the prospect of their miracle child.
I was beside myself in excitement for her - there are just some people that you really WANT to have children, some people so suited to be parents.....and these were two of those people.
Suddenly, and without warning, the unthinkable happened. Right before her due date, on a routine checkup, the doctor could not find a heartbeat. Her beloved child had passed before he was even born. My heart just about fell out of my on earth do you console someone in this situation?
I delicately delicately approached her via email - asking if I could come and see her, asking if I could do anything for her. Each time, she responded with a supernatural grace, integrity and peace. Seeing her in person, I was amazed at what was before me. There was no wailing, inconsolable, falling apart of a person - she was strong and assured that God had a special reason for calling her little boy home.
People can't make this stuff up. Either you believe it or you don't. And it wasn't just her - her hubby said the same thing. They knew, just knew in their heart of hearts that their little man was safely in the arms of God. That, my friends, is true faith.
These two lovebirds did go on to get married, in a wonderfully beautiful ceremony. Their love for each other is truly evident whenever you see them...
3. And the last family is one from my church. In the time that I have known them (about 15 years), they have suffered more health issues than imaginable - 2 of their sons have chronic illnesses, which constantly put them in hospital. The patriarch of the family has himself been plagued by heart problems serious enough to require seems that each month brings a new problem.
You would think that year after year of trial and tribulation would be enough to flatten their faith, right? OH NO. Not at all. In fact, they are some of the strongest people I have ever met. They constantly praise God for what they have, not for what they have lost. These people really have it. Faith and an understanding of God's power, that is. They are true examples of perseverance.

When I think of these 3, and they are only 3 in a slew of people I know, I am struck by the futility of worrying about my own problems. My day to day issues pale in comparison to these situations mentioned above.
My prayer is that God would increase my faith - and if that comes through trial by fire, then so be it - I have some great role models to follow. May God bless you as well.

I may be a mother, but I am Not Your Average Mom

Monday, December 15, 2008

It is amazing to me to be on the outside looking in, and watching people make total fools of themselves in public. This is amazing not because I myself have never done it (anyone who knows me can testify to the fact that I can be the fool of all fools) but that they themselves don't recognize it.
This past weekend was hubby's annual Christmas party. This was perhaps the single biggest event in my social calendar this year, mainly due to the fact that we never, I repeat, never go out sans children.

It was a getting-ready process that took a couple of days. It all began with the recruiting of a babysitter (and, I must admit, we did get the very best one possible) and then the endless dress shopping, then the marathon cleaning* to prepare for said babysitter, the psychological preparation of the children for the babysitter, not to mention the shower/shave/hair/makeup. Whew! I get tired just talking about it.

(* - a side note: I am when it comes to my house. I am no less than terrified to have people over, demanding perfection of a home that will refuse to be perfected, especially with 2 little messy people running around. Why I feel the need to dust the tops of the doorframes when a person who is 5'2" is coming over is still up for debate. Let's just call it OCD and move on....)

So assuming that everyone who goes out must go through the same type of ordeal to get there (all the while secretly knowing that no one does this to themselves) I half expect that people are going to be drinking every moment in, thrilled to be free of diaper changes and kids shows, and happy to be wearing non snot-stained big people clothes. Yes, I was completely mistaken.

We arrived at said party to find a gorgeous banquet hall - all crystal chandeliers, 18 forks and knives at each setting, fancy music, you know, big people stuff. I am nervous that I am underdressed, or overdressed, or not appropriately accessorized etc etc. I needn't have worried. The dress code for the event seemed to span the fashion do's-and-don'ts spectrum from one end right to the other. There were women in ball gowns, hair all professionally pinned and sprayed into place, while on the other hand was a girl in a long t-shirt and those half-calf legging things. There were women there who looked like they were ready to meet the Queen, and others who looked like they just climbed out of bed (I was going to write something a little nasty about pole dancers, but thought better)
I think in this regard men have it really easy. Throw on a suit, an ironed shirt, a clean tie and off you go. But not us girls. And Christmas parties being thrown in the winter opens up a whole can of worms - how do you wear spaghetti straps when it is -15 outside? How do you keep skin which has not seen the light of day for 3 months looking soft and radiant? And open-toed shoes? I have been wearing wool socks since October, and now I am supposed to wear glorified sandals in the snow?

Anyhow. The bar was a cash one, which I think is a very very smart idea. Open bars and Christmas revelry do not make for a good combo. I bought a few beer tickets (domestic or imported beer? um...I don't, you know? Beeeer.) and even had to shell out $2 for pop. The food was pretty awesome - salad, buns, pasta, then steak AND turkey and stuffing and mashed potato and veggies. Dessert was some sort of icecream on top of pastry thing....looked good, but seeing as how I don't do carbs, this was way beyond my limits, so I politely turned it down. Everyone at the table seemed to notice what I was (or wasn't for that matter) eating....and even commenting on it. Why? Does it really matter if I don't eat the pasta? Does it bother you if I don't share in the gooey apple dessert concoction? And yes, I do not drink. That one seemed to shock some people, especially since we got 2 drink tickets for free (FREE). I did pour half a glass of white wine for toasts, but that was it. I have now resolved myself to never comment on someone elses food choices....this is a very very touchy subject apparently!
Enough of the food, I say, bring on the coffee - which was typical banquet style giant-urn coffee...but at least it was free (did I mention I am cheap? Yes, not ashamed to admit it - I am cheap). I commandeered all the 4 oz coffee cups I could find and asked the waiter to fill them - I knew it would be a while until I saw him again. And when you combine them all, I guess I got about 2 XL sized coffees. So really, in retrospect, I drink coffee like others drank their excess.

SO then on to the dancing. This alone made the night completely worthwhile - not because hubby and I dance (I used to , he is more of a sway-er) but for sheer entertainment value. Have you ever seen a 60 year old man shake his moneymaker to "Pump Up The Jam"? Yes, it is as funny looking as it sounds. The DJ went on a big 70's streak....much to the dismay of anyone younger than 40. I watched these retirement-aged couples breaking out all the best disco moves from their heyday and just getting down. Funny stuff.
But let's take a step back here. This was a work function - which means that come Monday morning, you will have to face all these people again. And they will know that you dance like Elaine Bennis or that you weren't wearing undies seeing as how you flashed them all doing high kicks to The Macarena. What we learn about people's personal lives and habits is sometimes best left unknown. For many, this was the first time you would have met their spouse. And while you may be able to govern your own mouth, you have limited control over your loving husband who asks someone when they are due, only to find out they had their baby 4 months ago (not my husband, but one at the next table).

I heard a girl throwing up in the stall next to mine, only to see her come out, all dolled up and fix her hair, reapply lipstick and stumble back towards the bar. I watched an obviously inebriated woman plop herself down into the lap of a male superior, all while his wife sat right beside him. Two men began tossing the remains of their dinner rolls back and forth from table to table, hitting anyone in between and crying with laughter. Couples on the dancefloor began the rapid decline to the "Dirty Dancing" portion of the evening, and still others were seen arguing in an alcohol-induced fury in the lobby. And today being Monday, I wonder what these people remember of their night, if anything.
We played it very safe, watching the dancing from the sidelines and heading home after 2 slow dances....had to go relieve the babysitter and drive her home.
So folks, there you have it - 3 weeks of prep for 3 hours of amusement....and still paying for the lack of sleep 3 days later! I wish we had thought to take a picture....maybe someone will send us one.

I may be a mother but I am Not Your Average Mom

Friday, December 12, 2008

My cat clearly has not been told about the issue of personal space. That is, she gets all up in mine. Normally I would not care, being that she is a cat and all - but there are just some times when she comes pouncing in, in all her let-me-stick-my-bum-in-your-face glory*. Like when I am sitting down to a crossword. Does she sit beside me, contentedly purring? OH NO! She must sit ON the paper. And when I go to the bathroom. If I don't make sure the door is latched, she does this head-butt door shove and prances in...only to walk out a second later and leave the door wide still sitting there. And to add to all of that, my cat has really really bad breath. Maybe it's from all the random butt-licking. I bet that if we licked our butts half as much as a cat we would stink too. I wonder if there are such thing as cat-mints? Perhaps I have stumbled on a great opportunity here! I cannot be the only one suffering from cat-butt-breath stench....can I?

*while we are on the subject of cat bums, which I know we really weren't but this is where my train of thought has taken me, have you ever noticed how much a cat's butt looks like the end of a hot dog? Yeah, I bet you will never eat a hot dog again without thinking of that....

I am sure my views on this subject will not be entirely popular - and while not wanting to open up a whole can of worms, this is after all, my personal journal so I feel some license to say what I feel without being politically correct. With that it mind....I offer you this:
I received today an invite to join a Facebook group. While normally I just delete these requests, I read with interest the group in question. This group in particular was in protest to the recent torture of a neighbourhood cat. The members of this group (of which there were many, nearing the thousands) were urged to cry out for reform to the local laws regarding animal abuse.
I can fully appreciate the passion behind this call to action. I cannot imagine the heartache of discovering your cherished pet had been mangled at the hands of some warped individual.
My issue is this - we as a nation are so desperate to cling to a cause - save the animals, save the trees, save the whales, save the planet. But if you so much as mention saving the unborn, whoa, you have infringed! on! someones! rights!
How dare we even suggest saving a human life, when it may cause inconvenience to the dare we cry out against the horrors of partial-birth abortion when it means that a woman may actually have to give birth to a child. A CHILD - not a fetus, not an embryo, but a child. I bet that if we killed as many cats and dogs and trees and whales as we do children, people would be outraged. Why is it that we can look past this heinous act, even awarding the primary force behind Canada's abortion industry....and yet we scream in outrage at the mauling of a pet? That's like sobbing over a sliver when your head is on fire - there ARE more important issues. If only we were passionate about the issues that require our passion.

Each year for the past 3 years I have included a Christmas letter with my cards. In it I would document our comings and goings of the past year, and wrap it up with a nice Merry Christmas To You. This year, however, I am finding it really difficult to compose such a letter. It is not that my family has not had another eventful year, because if our family is known for something, it is the drama that seems to surround us like a fog.
My problem is that whenever I begin to write something, I feel like there is very little value in sharing it. Our achievements seem so insignificant. So then what can I say that has significance? SO much greater than what we have done is what God has done for US. Yes, I completely believe that. I will give credit where credit is due and it is certainly due Him. So, then, it should be easy to write a letter, right? Right?
Well this is where my block sets in. I send this letter to friends, family, church members, etc....but not all of them believe in the Lord. The last thing I want is to come across all pious and preachy. And everything I say seems to suggest that I feel we are in a particularly blessed category of people, that it, more blessed that anyone else.....which is completely untrue.
We have seen great things this year, but I am certain that any child of God could find the same greatness in their life.
So how do I temper this annual report with humour and insight and not come across as a religious nut-job? I really don't here we are, mid December and the cards still sit in the box. I am pretty sure there will be no letter this year :(

Yes now that winter is finally upon us, I have taken up the disturbing habit of only shaving my legs once a month or so. There, I have admitted it. Underneath these fancy pants of mine lurks a dark and scary secret....I have hair that rivals a man's. But not for long.
Tomorrow being hubby's Christmas party, and the fact that I bought a new dress will necessitate a major defuzzifying. The silly thing is that once I have actually done it, I love the way my legs feel, all silky and smooth - and I vow to keep them that way. Its not until the next day when i realize I will again be wearing pants and wool socks that I ignore the razor.
You may be asking yourself if my husband minds - then again you may not care, but I am going to share anyways. He has never said anything, and I think that once people are married long enough that they have heard each other belch they get over the hair issue. And besides, he is the one who has decided to grow a 3 inch goatee this winter, so I figure its safe to call it even. Right? Right?

That's the rant for to bed to rest up for tomorrows festivities, in all their freshly-shorn-bargain-dress-wearing glory.

I may be a mother but I am Not Your Average Mom.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Anyone who knows me knows that I lean farther towards the anxious side of the scale than to anything resembling laid back. Having said that , I often find myself in a panic over non-panic worthy events. Take for example, a surprise phone call from a friend telling me she is dropping by to give me a I sit back and think - "well, how nice, I can't wait to see her?" Ahhh, au contraire, mon frere, instead I reel in the thoughts of how I must vacuum NOW and then clean the bathroom, and get the dishes put away, and break out some smelly candle, and how the laundry room is a mess (even though she will never even make it in the front door). So call it OCD, call it what you want, I call it everyday life.

Do you ever have an insane mom thought and guiltily stash it away in your memory banks as one of those "I must be crazy, NO ONE thinks like this" things? No? Okay, just me then. So bear with me while I share one of those golden nuggets of insanity.

The other day, my son (aka the-good-sleeper) slept waaaaay past his normal wakeup time. This would not be especially unusual except for the fact that my daughter (the girl-who-is-incapable-of-being-quiet) was being especially disruptive, stomping around and slamming doors. So do I just pass off this moment as one of those "things that make you go hmmm" times? OH NO! Instead I have gory visions of how my little boy must have breathed his last in his sleep and is now lying in his bed, long gone, waiting for me to find him. Having said that, do I now rush up to be sure he is actually alive? OH NO! I sit and worry about it...agonizing about it, actually. No sooner do the tears begin to well up and suddenly I hear the thump-thump-thumping of his early morning wall-kicking....and I feel foolish all over again.

SO I have this little gem stored waaaay in the back of my memory attic, gathering guilt and self-flagellation like thick dust, when a fellow mom tells me about bursting into her sons' room because he overslept by 20 minutes. She told me about how she sat on the floor, eyes even with the height of his chest, to see if it was rising and falling as it should. I think at that moment I could actually hear a praise chorus going off in my head - AT LEAST I'M NO CRAZIER THAN HER! And as long as there is one co-crazy on this planet, I guess I am okay.

Yes, you read that right. My fish (plural) are sad. Okay, maybe they are not really sad, but they sure seem sad. Yes, I know how completely silly this sounds - but consider the evidence:
1. They randomly float on their sides - and no, they are not dead, cause I keep tapping their bowls and they start swimming again - unless of course they are zombie fish (wow that opens up a whole new arena of possible explanations for their behaviour!)
2. 3 of the 4 have already attempted suicide by either jumping out of their bowl or jumping out of the net while I am changing their water.
3. They just don't seem as peppy as they used to be.
You may be asking, 'Are fish ever peppy?' Maybe I am delusional in thinking that they were ever "happier" than they are now. Do fish even have feelings? Are they capable of rational thought? I mean they swim among their own poop - and that can't be good for any one's emotional state...uh...yeah, right. They are fish after all. Maybe I should stop worry about this stuff. They are in fact carnival fish. As in, I won them at a carnival. Maybe they miss their carnie friends. Okay, clearly I should stop worrying about this.

My mother in law has the worlds' greatest mirror. It is at the end of a hall that you must walk down to get anywhere in their house. The reason this mirror has obtained such high status in my mirror-status books? Because it is a skinny mirror - no matter what kind of bloated-PMS-bad-body-day you are having, you look fabulous in this mirror. I think ALL mirrors should take a lesson from this mirror. Like the mirror in my bedroom for example - which is a fat mirror. Every time I walk past it, it is like being in a fun house for crying out loud!! Not so good for the psyche.
I think if department stores and other clothing establishments were smart, they would harness the technology that created my mother in law's skinny mirror, and mount them in the change rooms. Also, please, department store owners, invest in more flattering lighting in there - it amazes me that people EVER buy stuff they have tried on. Whenever I dare to bare it enough to try something on, I am shocked and repelled at the view....florescent lighting does nothing to flatter...

On that note, I went shopping today for a new Christmas outfit for hubby's Christmas Party this weekend. I should also mention that I am a frugal shopper, which is a nice way of saying that I am cheap. Yes, I would love to wear an outfit that cost 600$ - as long as it wasn't MY $600 that paid for it.
Shopping on a budget seriously limits ones options, though. I walked right past all these boutique-y stores with beautiful figure flattering outfits in the windows (and no doubt skinny mirrors in the change rooms) and headed right to the polyester and rayon shacks that I could afford. Dress after dress seemed too trampy, too shiny, too lowcut...until I found THE ONE. And imagine my glee at finding it on the clearance rack. However, looking at the tag I was dismayed that it was a size smaller than I had ever worn before. So I nearly put it back on the rack and trudged off to the next synthetic-fabric-bargain-bin store. But before leaving, I thought - well I will just try on the jacket and see - if that doesn't fit then it is a definite no. And lo and fits perfectly. Off I go to the fitting room, dress in one hand, pushing a stroller laden with winter coats and cars and toys and purses - everything BUT its intended purpose, my son, who had taken up residence 15 feet away on the floor.
I coax him to the "hall of bad mirrors" , trying to explain that though it looks like "potties", I am sure they would not like if you used it to relieve yourself.
Okay, back to the dress. I slowly try it on, having convinced myself that it will never fit, and gently pull on the zipper. and it zips. All the way up. And I am shocked. SO I stand there, staring at myself in the mirror. There is a huge disconnect between the size on the tag and the size I see before me. What is it that makes women (particularly me) so loathe their bodies? Why are we (me) so hard on ourselves? I think I have it in my head that once I reach a certain size or a certain number on the scale, then I will be satisfied - but I also know that if it is not the number on the scale it will be something else. I truly want to be happy that I have found a dress that fits! So there is my task for this weekend - strut my stuff (in a demure and non-trashy way, of course) in a dress that I never thought I would fit into, much less pay $26 for!

SO there you have it folks - rambling I promised, and rambling you got.
I am off to tend to the suicidal betas now...maybe some shrimp meal will coax them awy from the edge of the bowl....

I may be a mother, but I am Not Your Average Mom